The Transplanted Ghost A Christmas Story





BY WALLACE IRWIN





When Aunt Elizabeth asked me to spend Christmas with her at Seven Oaks

she appended a peculiar request to her letter. "Like a good fellow," she

wrote, "won't you drop off at Perkinsville, Ohio, on your way, and take

a look at Gauntmoor Castle? They say it's a wonderful old pile; and its

history is in many ways connected with that of our own family. As long

as you're the last of the Geoffray Pierreponts, such things ought to

interest you." Like her auburn namesake who bossed the Thames of yore,

sweet, red-haired, romantic autocrat, Aunt Elizabeth! Her wishes were

commands.



"What the deuce is Aunt Elizabeth up to now?" I asked Tim Cole, my law

partner, whom I found in my rooms smoking my tobacco. "Why should I be

inspecting Gauntmoor Castle--and what is a castle named Gauntmoor doing

in Perkinsville, Ohio, anyway? Perkinsville sounds like the Middle West,

and Gauntmoor sounds like the Middle Ages."



"Right in both analyses," said the pipe-poaching Tim. "Castle Gauntmoor

is from the Middle Ages, and we all know about where in Ohio

Perkinsville is. But is it possible that you, twenty-seven years old and

a college graduate, haven't heard of Thaddeus Hobson, the Marvelous

Millionaire?" I shook my head. "The papers have been full of Hobson in

the past two or three years," said Tim. "It was in 1898, I think, that

Fate jumped Thaddeus Hobson to the golden Olympus. He was first head

salesman in the village hardware store, then he formulated so successful

a scheme to clean up the Tin Plate Combine that he put away a fabulous

number of millions in a year, and subsequently went to England. Finally

he set his heart on Norman architecture. After a search he found the

ancient Castle Gauntmoor still habitable and for sale. He thrilled the

British comic papers by his offer to buy the castle and move it to

America. Hobson saw the property, telegraphed to London, and closed the

deal in two hours. And an army of laborers at once began taking the

Gauntmoor to pieces, stone by stone.



"Transporting that relic to America involved a cost in labor and

ingenuity comparable with nothing that has yet happened. Moving the

Great Pyramid would be a lighter job, perhaps. Thousands of tons of

scarred and medieval granite were carried to the railroads, freighted to

the sea, and dragged across the Atlantic in whopping big lighters

chartered for the job. And the next the newspapers knew, the monster

was set up in Perkinsville, Ohio."



"But why did he do it?" I asked.



"Who knows?" said Tim. "Ingrowing sentiment--unlimited capital--wanted

to do something for the Home Town, probably; wanted to beautify the

village that gave him his start--and didn't know how to go at it. Well,

so long!" he called out, as I seized my hat and streaked for the train.



* * * * *



It was dinner time when the train pulled in at Perkinsville. The town

was as undistinguished as I expected. I was too hungry to care about

castles at the moment, so I took the 'bus for the Commercial Hotel, an

establishment that seemed to live up to its name, both in sentiment and

in accommodation. The landlord, Mr. Spike, referred bitterly to the

castle, which, he explained, was, by its dominating presence, "spoilin'

the prosperous appearance of Perkinsville." Dinner over, he led me to a

side porch.



"How does Perkinsville look with that--with that curio squattin' on top

of it?" asked Mr. Spike sternly, as he pointed over the local livery

stable, over Smith Brothers' Plow Works, over Odd Fellows' Hall, and up,

up to the bleak hills beyond, where, poised like a stony coronet on a

giant's brow, rose the great Norman towers and frowning buttresses of

Gauntmoor Castle. I rubbed my eyes. No, it couldn't be real--it must

be a wizard's work!



"What's old Hobson got out of it?" said Mr. Spike in my ear. "Nothin'

but an old stone barn, where he can set all day nursin' a grouch and

keepin' his daughter Anita--they do say he does--under lock and key for

fear somebody's goin' to marry her for her money."



Mr. Spike looked up at the ramparts defiantly, even as the Saxon churl

must have gazed in an earlier, far sadder land.



"It's romantic," I suggested.



"Yes, darn rheumatic," agreed Mr. Spike.



"Is it open for visitors?" I asked innocently.



"Hobson?" cackled Spike. "He'd no more welcome a stranger to that place

than he'd welcome--a ghost. He's a hol-ee terror, Hobson!"



Mr. Spike turned away to referee a pool game down in the barroom.



The fires of a December sunset flared behind Gauntmoor and cast the grim

shadows of Medievalism over Mediocrity, which lay below. Presently the

light faded, and I grew tired of gazing. Since Hobson would permit no

tourists to inspect his castle, why was I here on this foolish trip?

Already I was planning to wire Aunt Elizabeth a sarcastic reference to

being marooned at Christmas with a castle on my hands, when a voice at

my shoulder said suddenly:



"Mr. Hobson sends his compliments, sir, and wants to know would Mr.

Pierrepont come up to Gauntmoor for the night?"



A groom in a plum-colored livery stood at my elbow. A light station

wagon was waiting just outside. How the deuce did Hobson know my name?

What did he want of me at Gauntmoor this time of night? Yet prospects of

bed and breakfast away from the Commercial lured me strangely.



"Sure, Mr. Pierrepont will be delighted," I announced, leaping into the

vehicle, and soon we were mounting upward, battling with the winds

around the time-scarred walls. The wagon stopped at the great gate. A

horn sounded from within, the gate swung open, a drawbridge fell with a

hideous creaking of machinery, and we passed in, twenty or thirty feet

above the snow-drifted moat. Beyond the portcullis a dim door swung

open. Some sort of seneschal met us with a light and led us below the

twilight arches, where beyond, I could catch glimpses of the baileys and

courts and the donjon tower against the heavy ramparts.



The wind hooted through the high galleries as we passed; but the west

wing, from its many windows and loopholes, blazed with cheerful yellow

light. It looked nearly cozy. Into a tall, gaunt tower we plunged, down

a winding staircase, and suddenly we came into a vast hall, stately with

tapestries and innumerable monkish carvings--and all brightly lighted

with electricity!



A little fat man sat smoking in a chair near the fire. When I entered he

was in his shirt sleeves, reading a newspaper, but when a footman

announced my name the little man, in a state of great nervousness,

jumped to his feet and threw on a coat, fidgeting painfully with the

armholes. As he came toward me, I noticed that he was perfectly bald. He

looked dyspeptic and discontented, like a practical man trying vainly to

adjust his busy habits to a lazy life. Obviously he didn't go with the

rest of the furniture.



"Pleased to see you, Mr. Pierrepont," he said, looking me over carefully

as if he thought of buying me. "Geoffray Pierrepont--tut, tut!--ain't it

queer!"



"Queer!" I said rather peevishly. "What's queer about it?"



"Excuse me, did I say queer? I didn't mean to be impolite, sir--I was

just thinking, that's all."



You could hear the demon Army of the Winds scaling the walls outside.



"Maybe you thought it kind of abrupt, Mr. Pierrepont, me asking you up

here so unceremonious," he said. "My daughter Annie, she tells me I

ought to live up to the looks of the place; but I've got my notions. To

tell you the truth, I'm in an awful quandary about this Antique Castle

business and when I heard you was at the hotel, I thought you might help

me out some way. You see you----"



He led me to a chair and offered me a fat cigar.



"Young man," he said, "when you get your head above water and make good

in the world--if you ever do--don't fool with curios, don't monkey with

antiques. Keep away from castles. They're like everything else sold by

curio dealers--all humbug. Look nice, yes. But get 'em over to America

and they either fall to pieces or the paint comes off. Whether it's a

chair or a castle--same old story. The sly scalawags that sell you the

goods won't live up to their contracts."



"Hasn't Gauntmoor all the ancient inconveniences a Robber Baron could

wish?" I asked.



"It ain't," announced Mr. Hobson. "Though it looks all right to a

stranger, perhaps. There may be castles in the Old World got it on

Gauntmoor for size--thank God I didn't buy 'em!--but for looks you can't

beat Gauntmoor."



"Comfortable?" I asked.



"Can't complain. Modern plumbed throughout. Hard to heat, but I put an

electric-light plant in the cellar. Daughter Annie's got a Colonial

suite in the North Tower."



"Well," I suggested, "if there's anything the castle lacks, you can buy

it."



"There's one thing money can't buy," said Mr. Hobson, leaning very

close and speaking in a sibilant whisper. "And that's ghosts!"



"But who wants ghosts?" I inquired.



"Now look here," said Mr. Hobson. "I'm a business man. When I bought

Gauntmoor, the London scalawags that sold it to me gave me distinctly to

understand that this was a Haunted Castle. They showed me a haunted

chamber, showed me the haunted wall where the ghost walks, guaranteed

the place to be the Spook Headquarters of the British Isles--and see

what I got!" He snapped his fingers in disgust.



"No results?"



"Results? Stung! I've slept in that haunted room upstairs for a solid

year. I've gazed night after night over the haunted rampart. I've even

hired spiritualists to come and cut their didoes in the towers and

donjon keep. No use. You can't get ghosts where they ain't."



I expressed my sympathy.



"I'm a plain man," said Hobson. "I ain't got any ancestors back of

father, who was a blacksmith, and a good one, when sober. Somebody

else's ancestors is what I looked for in this place--and I've got 'em,

too, carved in wood and stone in the chapel out back of the tower. But

statues and carvings ain't like ghosts to add tone to an ancient

lineage."



"Is there any legend?" I asked.



"Haven't you heard it?" he exclaimed, looking at me sharply out of his

small gray eyes. "It seems, 'way back in the sixteenth century, there

was a harum-scarum young feller living in a neighboring castle, and he

took an awful shine to Lady Katherine, daughter of the Earl of Cummyngs,

who was boss of this place at that time. Now the young man who loved

Miss--I mean Lady--Katherine was a sort of wild proposition. Old man

wouldn't have him around the place; but young man kept hanging on till

Earl ordered him off. Finally the old gent locked Lady Kitty in the

donjon tower," said Mr. Hobson.



"Too much shilly-shallying in this generation," he went on. "Every

house that's got a pretty girl ought to have a donjon keep. I've got

both." He paused and wiped his brow.



"This fresh young kid I'm telling you about, he thought he knew more

than the old folks, so he got a rope ladder and climbed up the masonry

one night, intending to bust into the tower where the girl was. But just

as he got half across the wall--out yonder--his foot slipped and he

broke his neck in the moat below. Consequence, Lady Kitty goes crazy and

old Earl found dead a week later in his room. It was Christmas Eve when

the boy was killed. That's the night his ghost's supposed to walk along

the ramparts, give a shriek, and drop off--but the irritating thing

about it all is, it don't ever happen."



"And now, Mr. Hobson," I said, throwing away the butt of my cigar, "why

am I here? What have I got to do with all this ghost business?"



"I want you to stay," said Hobson, beseechingly. "To-morrow night's

Christmas Eve. I've figured it out that your influence, somehow, you

being of the same blood, as it were, might encourage the ghost to come

out and save the reputation of the castle."



A servant brought candles, and Hobson turned to retire.



"The same blood!" I shouted after him. "What on earth is the name of

the ghost?"



"When he was alive his name was--Sir Geoffray de Pierrepont," said

Thaddeus Hobson, his figure fading into the dimness beyond.



I followed the servant with the candle aloft through chill and carven

corridors, through galleries lined with faded portraits of forgotten

lords. "Wheels!" I kept saying to myself. "The old man evidently thinks

it takes a live Pierrepont to coax a dead one," and I laughed nervously

as I entered the vast brown bedroom. I had to get on a chair in order to

climb into the four-poster, a cheerful affair that looked like a royal

funeral barge. At my head I noticed a carved device, seven mailed hands

snatching at a sword with the motto: "CAVE ADSUM!"



"Beware, I am here!" I translated. Who was here? Ghosts? Fudge! What

hideous scenes had this chamber beheld of yore? What might not happen

here now? Where, by the way, was old Hobson's daughter, Anita? Might not

anything be possible? I covered my head with the bedclothes.



* * * * *



Next morning being mild and bright for December, and Thaddeus Hobson and

his mysterious daughter not having showed up for breakfast, I amused

myself by inspecting the exterior of the castle. In daylight I could see

that Gauntmoor, as now restored, consisted of only a portion of the

original structure. On the west side, near a sheer fall of forty or

fifty feet, stood the donjon tower, a fine piece of medieval barbarism

with a peaked roof. And, sure enough! I saw it all now. Running along

the entire west side of the castle was a wonderful wall, stretching

above the moat to a dizzy height. It was no difficult matter to mount

this wall from the courtyard, above which it rose no more than eight or

ten feet. I ascended by a rude sentry's staircase, and once on top I

gazed upward at the tall medieval prison-place, which reared above me

like a clumsy stone chimney. Just as I stood, at the top of the wall, I

was ten or twelve feet below the lowest window of the donjon tower.

This, then, was the wall that the ancient Pierrepont had scaled, and

yonder was the donjon window that he had planned to plunder on that

fatal night so long ago. And this was where Pierrepont the Ghost was

supposed to appear!



How the lover of spectral memory had managed to scale that wall from the

outside, I could not quite make out. But once on the wall, it was no

trick to snatch the damsel from her durance vile. Just drop a long rope

ladder from the wall to the moat, then crawl along the narrow ledge--got

to be careful with a job like that--then up to the window of the donjon

keep, and away with the Lady Fair. Why, that window above the ramparts

would be an easy climb for a fellow with strong arms and a little nerve,

as the face of the tower from the wall to the window was studded with

ancient spikes and the projecting ends of beams.



I counted the feet, one, two, three--and as I looked up at the window,

a small, white hand reached out and a pink slip of paper dropped at my

feet. It read:



DEAR SIR: I'm Miss Hobson. I'm locked in the donjon tower. Father always

locks me here when there's a young man about. It's a horrid,

uncomfortable place. Won't you hurry and go?



Yours respectfully,



A. HOBSON.



I knew it was easy. I swung myself aloft on the spikes and stones

leading to the donjon window. When I was high enough I gazed in, my chin

about even with the sill. And there I saw the prettiest girl I ever

beheld, gazing down at a book tranquilly, as though gentlemanly rescuers

were common as toads around that tower. She wore something soft and

golden; her hair was night-black, and her eyes were that peculiar shade

of gray that--but what's the use?



"Pardon," I said, holding on with my right hand, lifting my hat with my

left. "Pardon, am I addressing Miss Annie Hobson?"



"You are not," she replied, only half looking up. "You are addressing

Miss Anita Hobson. Calling me Annie is another little habit father ought

to break himself of." She went on reading.



"Is that a very interesting book?" I asked, because I didn't like to go

without saying something more.



"It isn't!" She arose suddenly and hurled the book into a corner. "It's

Anthony Hope--and if there's anything I hate it's him. Father always

gives me Prisoner of Zenda and Ivanhoe to read when he locks me into

this donjon. Says I ought to read up on the situation. Do you think so?"



"There are some other books in the library," I suggested. "Bernard Shaw

and Kipling, you know. I'll run over and get you one."



"That's fine--but no!" she besought, reaching out her hand to detain me.

"No, don't go! If you went away you'd never come back. They never do."



"Who never do?"



"The young men. The very instant father sees one coming he pops me in

the tower and turns the key. You see," she explained, "when I was in

Italy I was engaged to a duke--he was a silly little thing and I was

glad when he turned out bogus. But father took the deception awfully to

heart and swore I should never be married for my money. Yet I don't see

what else a young girl can expect," she added quite simply.



I could have mentioned several hundred things.



"He has no right!" I said sternly. "It's barbarous for him to treat a

girl that way--especially his daughter."



"Hush!" she said. "Dad's a good sort. But you can't measure him by other

people's standards. And yet--oh, it's maddening, this life! Day after

day--loneliness. Nothing but stone walls and rusty armor and books.

We're rich, but what do we get out of it? I have nobody of my own age

to talk to. How the years are passing! After a while--I'll be--an old

maid. I'm twenty-one now!" I heard a sob. Her pretty head was bowed in

her hands.



Desperately I seized the bars of the window and miraculously they

parted. I leaned across the sill and drew her hands gently down.



"Listen to me," I said. "If I break in and steal you away from this,

will you go?"



"Go?" she said. "Where?"



"My aunt lives at Seven Oaks, less than an hour from here by train. You

can stay there till your father comes to his reason."



"It's quite like father never to come to his reason," she reflected.

"Then I should have to be self-supporting. Of course, I should

appreciate employment in a candy shop--I think I know all the principal

kinds."



"Will you go?" I asked.



"Yes," she replied simply, "I'll go. But how can I get away from here?"



"To-night," I said, "is Christmas Eve, when Pierrepont the Ghost is

supposed to walk along the wall--right under this window. You don't

believe that fairy story, do you?"



"No."



"Neither do I. But can't you see? The haunted wall begins at my window

on one end of the castle and ends at your window on the other. The bars

of your cell, I see, are nearly all loose."



"Yes," she laughed, "I pried them out with a pair of scissors."



I could hear Hobson's voice across the court giving orders to servants.



"Your father's coming. Remember to-night," I whispered.



"Midnight," she said softly, smiling out at me. I could have faced

flocks and flocks of dragons for her at that moment. The old man was

coming nearer. I swung to the ground and escaped into a ruined court.



Well, the hours that followed were anxious and busy for me. I worked in

the glamour of romance like a soldier about to do some particularly

brave and foolish thing. From the window of my room I looked down on the

narrow, giddy wall below. It was a brave and foolish thing. Among the

rubbish in an old armory I found a coil of stout rope, forty or fifty

feet of it. This I smuggled away. From a remote hall I borrowed a

Crusader's helmet and spent the balance of the afternoon in my room

practicing with a sheet across my shoulders, shroud-fashion.



We dined grandly at eight, the old man and I. He drank thirstily and

chatted about the ghost, as you might discuss the chances in a coming

athletic event. After what seemed an age he looked at his watch and

cried: "Whillikens! Eleven o'clock already! Well, I'll be going up to

watch from the haunted room. I think, Jeff, that you'll bring me luck

to-night."



"I am sure I shall!" I answered sardonically, as he departed.



Three quarters of an hour later, wearing the Crusader's helmet and

swathed in a bedsheet, I let myself down from the window to the haunted

wall below. It was moonlight, bitter cold as I crouched on the wall,

waiting for the stroke of twelve, when I should act the spook and walk

along that precarious ledge to rescue Anita.



The "haunted wall," I observed from where I stood, was shaped like an

irregular crescent, being in plain view of Hobson's "haunted room" at

the middle, but not so at its north and south ends, where my chamber and

Anita's tower were respectively situated. I pulled out my watch from

under my winding-sheet. Three minutes of twelve. I drew down the vizor

of my helmet and gathered up my cerements preparatory to walking the

hundred feet of wall which would bring me in sight of the haunted room

where old Hobson kept his vigil. Two minutes, one minute I waited,

when--I suddenly realized I was not alone.



A man wearing a long cloak and a feather in his cap was coming toward me

along the moonlit masonry. Aha! So I was not the only masquerading swain

calling on the captive princess in the prison tower. A jealous pang shot

through me as I realized this.



The man was within twenty feet of me, when I noticed something. He was

not walking on the wall. He was walking on air, three or four feet

above the wall. Nearer and nearer came the man--the Thing--now into

the light of the moon, whose beams seemed to strike through his misty

tissue like the thrust of a sword. I was horribly scared. My knees

loosened under me, and I clutched the vines at my back to save me from

falling into the moat below. Now I could see his face, and somehow fear

seemed to leave me. His expression was so young and human.



"Ghost of the Pierrepont," I thought, "whether you walk in shadow or in

light, you lived among a race of Men!"



His noble, pallid face seemed to burn with its own pale light, but his

eyes were in darkness. He was now within two yards of me. I could see

the dagger at his belt. I could see the gory cut on his forehead. I

attempted to speak, but my voice creaked like a rusty hinge. He neither

heeded nor saw me; and when he came to the spot where I stood, he did

not turn out for me. He walked through me! And when next I saw him he

was a few feet beyond me, standing in mid-air over the moat and gazing

up at the high towers like one revisiting old scenes. Again he floated

toward me and poised on the wall four feet from where I stood.



"What do you here to-night?" suddenly spoke, or seemed to speak, a voice

that was like the echo of a silence.



No answer came from my frozen tongue. Yet I would gladly have spoken,

because somehow I felt a great sympathy for this boyish spirit.



"It has been many earth-years," he said, "since I have walked these

towers. And ah, cousin, it has been many miles that I have been called

to-night to answer the summons of my race. And this fortress--what power

has moved it overseas to this mad kingdom? Magic!"



His eyes seemed suddenly to blaze through the shadows.



"Cousin," he again spoke, "it is to you that I come from my far-off

English tomb. It was your need called me. It is no pious deed brings you

to this wall to-night. You are planning to pillage these towers

unworthily, even as I did yesterday. Death was my portion, and broken

hearts to the father I wronged and the girl I sought."



"But it is the father wrongs the girl here," I heard myself saying.



"He who rules these towers to-day is of stern mind but loving heart,"

said the ghost. "Patience. By the Star that redeems the world, love

should not be won to-night by stealth, but by--love."



He raised his hands toward the tower, his countenance radiant with an

undying passion.



"She called to me and died," he said, "and her little ghost comes not

to earth again for any winter moon or any summer wind."



"But you--you come often?" my voice was saying.



"No," said the ghost, "only on Christmas Eve. Yule is the tide of

specters; for then the thoughts of the world are so beautiful that they

enter our dreams and call us back."



He turned to go, and a boyish, friendly smile rested a moment on his

pale face.



"Farewell, Sir Geoffray de Pierrepont," he called to me.



Into the misty moonlight the ghost floated to that portion of the wall

directly opposite the haunted room. From where I stood I could not see

this chamber. After a moment I shook my numb senses to life. My first

instinct was one of strong human curiosity, which impelled me to follow

far enough to see the effect of the apparition on old Hobson, who must

be watching at the window.



I tiptoed a hundred feet along the wall and peered around a turret up to

a room above, where Hobson's head could easily be seen in a patch of

light. The ghost, at that moment, was walking just below, and the effect

on the old man, appalling though it was, was ludicrous as well. He was

leaning far out of the window, his mouth wide open; and the entire disk

of his fat, hairless head was as pallid as the moon itself. The specter,

who was now rounding the curve of the wall near the tower, swerved

suddenly, and as suddenly seemed to totter headlong into the abyss

below. As he dropped, a wild laugh broke through the frosty air. It

wasn't from the ghost. It came from above--yes, it emanated from

Thaddeus Hobson, who had, apparently, fallen back, leaving the window

empty. Lights began breaking out all over the castle. In another moment

I should be caught in my foolish disguise. With the courage of a coward,

I turned and ran full tilt along the dizzy ledge and back to my window,

where I lost no seconds scrambling up the rope that led to my room.



With all possible haste I threw aside my sheet and helmet and started

downstairs. I had just wrestled with a ghost; I would now have it out

with the old man. The castle seemed ablaze below. I saw the flash of a

light skirt in the picture gallery, and Anita, pale as the vision I had

so lately beheld, came running toward me.



"Father--saw it!" she panted. "He had some sort of sinking spell--he's

better now--isn't it awful!" She clung to me, sobbing hysterically.



Before I realized what I had done, I was holding her close in my arms.



"Don't!" I cried. "It was a good ghost--he had a finer spirit than mine.

He came to-night for you, dear, and for me. It was a foolish thing we

planned."



"Yes, but I wanted, I wanted to go!" she sobbed now crying frankly on my

shoulder.



"You are going with me," I said fiercely, raising her head. "But not

over any ghost-ridden breakneck wall. We're going this time through the

big front door of this old castle, American fashion, and there'll be an

automobile waiting outside and a parson at the other end of the line."



We found Thaddeus Hobson alone, in the vast hall looking blankly at the

fire.



"Jeff," he said solemnly, "you sure brought me luck to-night if you can

call it such being scared into a human icicle. Br-r-r! Shall I ever get

the cold out of my backbone? But somehow, somehow that foggy feller

outside sort of changed my look on things. It made me feel kinder

toward living folks. Ain't it strange!"



"Mr. Hobson," I said, "I think the ghost has made us all see things

differently. In a word, sir, I have a confession to make--if you don't

mind."



And I told him briefly of my accidental meeting with Anita in the

donjon, of the practical joke we planned, of our sudden meeting with the

real ghost on the ramparts. Mr. Hobson listened, his face growing

redder and redder. At the finish of my story he suddenly leaped to his

feet and brought his fist down on the table with a bang.



"Well, you little devils!" he said admiringly, and burst into loud

laughter. "You're a spunky lad, Jeff. And there ain't any doubt that the

de Pierreponts are as good stuff as you can get in the ancestry

business. The Christmas supper is spread in the banquet hall. Come, de

Pierrepont, will you sup with the old Earl?"



* * * * *



The huge oaken banquet hall, lined with rich hangings, shrunk us to

dwarfs by its vastness. Golden goblets were at each place. A butler,

dressed in antique livery, threw a red cloak over Hobson's fat

shoulders. It was a whim of the old man's.



As we took our places, I noticed the table was set for four.



"Whose is the extra place?" I asked.



The old man at first made no reply. At last he turned to me earnestly

and said: "Do you believe in ghosts?"



"No," I replied. "Yet how else can I explain that vision I saw on the

ramparts?"



"Is the fourth place for him?" Anita almost whispered.



The old man nodded mutely and raised a golden goblet.



"To the Transplanted Ghost!" I said. It was an empty goblet that I

touched to my lips.





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